Transcript: Cancer appears to be through the wall of the rectum, although it is not all that bad.
Lymph nodes in the area were quite small, but as we know, at least one tested positive for cancer. Because of this, the doctor feels that I need the chemoradiation therapy, then a 6 to 8 week break, and then Surgery.
The reasoning behind giving the chemoradiation before, instead of after, is because there are less side-effects of doing it this way.
Chemoradiation: Small amount of chemo that helps the radiation be effective, so a low dose of radiation can be given.
Because of how small this cancer is, there is a distinct likelihood that the cancer might shrink away, so that the surgeon can’t see it or feel it. Therefore, I am going to the endoscopy room this Friday, where dr. Segall, will “tattoo” the place where the cancer is, so he can be sure to remove the right part during the operation.
No need for a bag
Most likely no need for a bag. Not even temporarily.
Side effects of surgery
- orgasm / erection. Two sets of nerves are in this neighborhood, so there is a small risk.
- Difficulties with bowel control, because the rectums reservoir will be smaller when the colon is brought down.
- There is a host of potential side effects, but then again, we are talking about cancer.
Proposed Treatment Schedule
(radiation and chemo schedule is preliminary since this is not dr. Segall’s field).
- Chemoradiation for about 5 weeks (for example: April 27 to May 30).
- Wait 6 to 8 weeks afterwards, before doing the operation (for example July 20th.)
- The wait is due to that: Radiation is like making an operation that the body and the tissue has to recover from.
- The cancer will still continue to get smaller in the wait period. (Even though that is not a big deal in this case, because the cancer isn’t that big).
- The operation is easier to do if we wait close to 2 months.
- After the surgery has healed (4 to 6 weeks), chemo for another 6 months. (for example starting August 6th)
We can do it at either Good Samaritan, or El Camino Hospital. We can work find if everybody is in network.